Who is to blame when someone is not performing?

Like many of us I am up late at night watching the Tour de France. One of the riders I have been watching is last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali. I’m always interested to see how a champion backs up performs again.

To be honest I was a little surprised to hear that after a week of the Tour, Astana have told Nibali that his services will not be required next year. Sure, this may have been an emotional response from Team Astana and the media may have run with it a little and at the end of the day Team Astana and Nibali will potentially work through these problems.

However, the one fact remains that employer and employee are not happy and not performing. So what has gone wrong in this relationship?

Here we look at 3 areas of the recruitment process that may help explain what has gone wrong.

A complete job description

Nibali’s role within the Astana Team is just like any other high performer in any organisation. His role is crucial to the success of the team. Therefore, it is important to clearly outline exactly what his role is and how that will be measured. Is his role purely results based and if so how will that be measured? A top 3 finish in our Grand Tour or all theree, top 10? Is he also responsible for building a winning team culture around him? If so what is his role in doing this.

It is so important to get the job description right as it allows both Team Astana (the employer) and Nibali (the employee) to both be clear on what is expected from Nibali and how it will be measured.

Evidence of performance

One of the most important areas when recruiting high performance people is to actually see that they have been able to perform the same task you are now asking them to do previously. In this case I think Team Astana have probably got this right. They were looking for someone who could win Grand Tours and when they recruited Nibali in 2013 he had won or placed well in two of the Grand Tours.

Behaviours required too perform at a high level

The third area that we will look at is one that is sometimes overlooked or not defined accurately and it is the unique behaviours required to perform the role with the organisation.

Nibali moved from Liquigas-Cannondale to Astana. These teams are very different in terms of cultures and ways of doing things.

When Nibali moved to Astana were those behaviours outlined? Did Astana test to see if Niabli had those behaviours or the ability and want to develop those behaviours?

So much of what we see in high performance sports people and their team environments is mirrored in our business communities and there is a lot to learn for both sides.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about structuring effective recruitment processes please contact me paul@paulgreening.com


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